Mia Fishel, Jaedyn Shaw, possibility and hope — Must-click women’s hockey links

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, Oct. 30, 2023

You go, Mia Fishel! She’s finally getting a chance with the U.S. team, and she proved her potential and worth with a goal on Sunday in the U.S. team’s 3-0 victory over Colombia at Snapdragon Stadium.

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Fishel’s inclusion on the team, in my opinion, is well overdue. And I hope it’s a sign of things to come. New faces are certainly needed to shake the USWNT out of a rut.

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I thought maybe the USWNT was perhaps too conservative with its lineups for the two games against Colombia. I would have liked to see more of the younger players given a chance. To her credit, interim coach Twila Kilgore did push the envelope as much as possible.

She’s obviously in a tricky position. Fans want to see the big World Cup stars like Alex Morgan, and as an interim coach, she doesn’t have the authority to make wholesale changes.

But she was successful in getting some of the newcomers time in the second half of both games. Jaedyn Shaw, Alyssa Thompson, Sam Coffey and of course Fishel made the most of their opportunities to make an impression.

“It was a dream,” Fishel said. I mean every little girl just dreams of being on this team, and to be here and to be able to score for this team, with my family and friends in the stands, it’s just amazing.”

Fishel scored her first international goal, as did Shaw. Thompson provided the perfect feed on Shaw’s goal. Afterward, Emily Sonnett dubbed those players “the gamechangers.”

“It’s hard to believe that it even happened,” Shaw said. “I just saw Alyssa get the ball and I took off. She played me the absolute best ball ever and I just did what I could to tap it in.”

Sonnett, by the way, is doing a fantastic job as a No. 6.

Of course, the United States is also still dealing with injuries, which is helping to get the younger players a look. Mallory Pugh is not yet healthy, and neither is Catarina Macario. Rose Lavelle has a lingering leg injury.

Kilgore’s four-game stint with the USWNT is about to come to an end. U.S. Soccer will name a new head coach — likely before the December international window — to lead the team to the Olympics in just NINE SHORT MONTHS.

The word leaked out last week, first reported by The Athletic’s Meg Linehan, that the USSF has narrowed the search to three finalists: Australia women’s coach Tony Gustavsson, Juventus women’s coach Joe Montemurro and OL Reign’s Laura Harvey.

Kinda wish that Emma Hayes was in the mix, like Jacqui Oatley wrote last week for the Mirror. But sadly, no.

Must-click links

Linehan also wrote about Utah’s plans for their training facility for The Athletic.

One more from the Athletic, my favorite story of the week: Felipe Cardenas wrote about Colombia’s Linda Caicedo. Read this one.

Jason Anderson from Pro Soccer Wire wrote about Savannah DeMelo reflecting on her World Cup starts.

Twila Kilgore talked about the young players and their progression, from Just Women’s Sports.

The Ballon d’Or awards are today (Monday!). You gotta think it’s Aitana Bonmati, right?

The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf takes a look at each NWSL head coaching vacancy.

Racing Louisville mutually parts ways with Kim Björkegren.

Looks like Becki Tweed is no longer `interim.’

Grant and Tamia Hill buy into Orlando City and the Pride. 

The Equalizer’s Blair Newman wrote about Olivia Moultrie earning a call-up.

Alex Morgan wrote about her first call-up.

The BBC asks whether the WSL can break barriers in addition to records.

Mary Earps spoke about the stress of fans’ demands

I wrote about FIFA graduating its first safeguarding class for AP.

Wait, what’s that on your finger Kristie Mewis?

Christine Sinclair spoke on Thursday before Canada played Brazil this past weekend, and won, 1-0. It was the first press availability after announcing she’d be retiring at the end of the year.

Here’s the presser: It was pretty funny, she talked about blocking the United States on Twitter. And she spoke about how helping Canada qualify for the Olympics, she was just planning to walk away and have that be it. Sooooooo Christine Sinclair.

And a bit of bonus material!

I did an interview with Oregon Public Radio about Sinclair, if you want to give it a listen, it is here.

Next up in women’s soccer: The NWSL semifinals!

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Annie Peterson